Ensuring Your Home against a Fire

Fire safety is something that you should be prepared for at all times of the year but as we get into the winter season, and some of the coldest months of the year, it’s important to be vigilant about protecting our families and our home.

Our home is filled with loved ones and personal belongings that often time carry a sentimental value so safeguarding what’s closest to us should start from the moment you move in. During the final walkthrough with your realtor, test and make sure the smoke alarms in the residence you’re about to close on are working.

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Owners of one-and two family residences must have installed in their home a working smoke detector that provides an audible alarm within each sleeping area. This sound provides an early warning to those sleeping that there is a fire and a greater chance of getting out of the home immediately. It is a requirement for every home in New York State.

Did you know that if a fire starts you have less than two minutes to get out safely? In such a short amount of time you have to be ready to spring into action and one of the ways to do so safely without wasting a moment is to already have a fire escape plan in place that has been practiced on a regular basis. Once you move into your new home, formulate that plan early on and make sure everyone is prepared in the event a fire breaks out.

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Escape Plan

  • Know two ways out of every room.
  • A closed door can stop the spread of gas, heat and smoke.
  • Have a meeting place outside your home.
  • Know how to call 9-1-1 from outside to report a fire.
  • Practice your escape plan with everyone who lives in your home at least twice a year

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While there are many different reasons why fires break out here are the top five:

  • Kitchen – Cooking is the number one cause of home fires. It takes only seconds for a pot or a pan to overheat and grease to splatter. Most kitchen fires start because people get distracted; never leave an open flame unattended.
  • Heating Equipment – Have your furnace checked annually and if your home has a fireplace, make sure to have the chimney cleaned and inspected. During the colder months many people use portable space heaters; these can be dangerous if used improperly. Keep them away from anything that can burn and never use them to dry clothes or shoes.
  • Smoking – If you must smoke, try and do it outside. Your bedroom should be off limits; how many times do you get drowsy, just lying in bed, watching TV. A lit or improperly extinguished cigarette is dangerous. And never put an ashtray on or near anything that will burn.
  • Electrical equipment – With all of the gadgets and electronics that are out there these days it’s easy to overload outlets with plugs; do not overuse extension cords. Also, be careful of do-it-yourself electrical projects. Sometimes it’s best to leave those in the hands of a professional electrician. And check to ensure your appliances do not have loose or frayed cords/plugs.
  • Candles – Who doesn’t love the smell of a scented candle! But they be dangerous if not used properly. Keep all candles on a level surface in a sturdy holder away from combustible materials and out of the reach of children and pets.

Remember… only working smoke detectors save lives.

  • TEST your smoke detectors at least once a month. Push the test button or blow smoke into the detector.
  • CLEAN your detectors at least once a year to remove dust.
  • REPLACE the battery every year. Better yet, twice a year – when you change your clocks in the spring and fall. Replace the smoke detector after 10 years.

Creating Zenefits in Your Home

We live in a fast-paced, busy, city and it’s not always easy to unwind. Creating calm simplicity at home can have a positive effect on your mood and psychological well-being. Here are some ideas and design elements that will help transform your home from zero to zen real quick.


Home-polish-organization-768x515.pngNo Mess, No Stress

Clutter is a major stress inducer! A simple way to begin a tranquil transformation in your home is to declutter. Get organized with shelving, boxes and containers and remember “everything has a place, everything in its place”. Take a few minutes to carve out specific places for each item. Keep piles of papers and technology out of sight and out of mind!


Lower Your Tonezen-design

A zen-inspired design should induce a sense of relaxation and calmness. Earthy, natural colors and soft tones such as white, grey, shades of beige or pink beige should be used throughout the home to create a zen den. Pay attention to the chromatic harmony between various elements and the visual continuity between walls, furniture and floors.


Stop and Sscentmell the Roses

Certain scents have the power to invigorate you, comfort you, help you relax or unwind. Let the sweet scent of geraniums or herbs on a window sill fill the room. Notice the aroma of fresh vegetables and herbs when you’re cooking. Use essential oils in a diffuser or light beeswax or naturally scented candles to create a soothing sanctuary.


20 copyA Neat, Sweet, Sleep Retreat

Your bedroom should be a sanctuary where you can switch off and relax. Remove any furniture you don’t need so the room feels lighter, put away technology and keep clutter off your nightstand. Put something that brings you peace on the wall behind your bed. Make room for a spot where you can meditate, journal or draw. Consider light, neutral colors and natural textures that will put you at-ease in your abode.